Active Research project

Reforestation Strategies for USACE and DoD: State of the Science, Partnership Exploration, and Regional Planning

Project Information

Forest ecosystems are complex environments that fulfill multiple benefits as well as provide essential habitat for many threatened, endangered, and at-risk species (TER-S). These ecosystems provide watershed protection and are important reservoirs of carbon, water, and nutrients, while providing soil stabilization and mitigating flood risk (e.g., Bengston et al. 1999; Neary et al. 2009; Caldwell et al. 2014)., These systems can be catastrophically impacted by large scale ecological disturbances resulting from climate change and anthropogenic linkages such as extreme wildfire, prolonged flooding, drought, or high-category storm events. Moreover, these highly disturbed ecosystems are oftentimes more predisposed for being invaded by invasive species, resulting in exacerbated negative effects on ecosystem benefits, i.e., runoff, erosion, and water quality impacts (Bhattarai & Cronin 2014; Vallejo & Alloza, 2015; North et al. 2019; Haring et al. 2021).  Effective reforestation strategies to curtail and alleviate the damages associated with large scale ecological disturbances is needed to create resilient ecosystems, prevent dangerous post-disturbance events such as debris flows, and ensure these habitats recover along their desired successional trajectory to continue to receive the benefits these ecosystems provide.  The objective of this research is to investigate reforestation strategies by identifying case study opportunities where EWN alignment opportunities can be made to promote and initiate partnership reforestation efforts on DoD or USACE managed lands. 

Reforestation opportunities in Marin County, California. The different shades of green and blue represent different opportunity classes. Data courtesy of Cook-Patton et al. 2021.

Point of Contact

Research Forester, Environmental Laboratory, ERDC


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